The original Macintosh User Manual →

February 24, 2015 |

Today I came across this wonderful article from 2007 thanks to Cesar Contreras. It’s an overview of the original Macintosh User Manual, over at

It’s been an intriguing read. It’s a remarkably handsome manual, beautifully typeset, which, considering par for the course at the time was probably Courier with few illustrations, is saying something.

Also, even back in 1984, there was no definite article. You get phrases like “With Macintosh, you’re in charge.” No “the”s or “a”s.

The lack of definite articles in Apple’s product descriptions was one of my favorite things about the company but, for whatever reason, they seem to be doing it less and less these days. If I remember correctly, the original iPhone keynote was one of the last major product introductions where everyone just said “iPhone”, without the “the”. One Steve Jobs quote from that keynote in particular comes to mind (at about the 25:30 mark):

“What we want to do is make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been, and super easy to use. This is what iPhone is”.

Well said, Steve. Well said. And by the way, happy birthday.